2014's most improved players

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We look at four vital statistical categories to reveal the golfers who made the biggest gains last year.

Most Improved Players Most Improved Players Most Improved Players Most Improved Players
Fowler Ryo Clarke Every

1. Rickie Fowler
+11.1 yards

 1. Ryo Ishikawa
+1.20

 

1. Darren Clarke
up 22%

1. Matt Every
up 0.831

2. Marc Leishman
+11 yds

3. Bubba Watson
+10.6 yds

4. Angel Cabrera
+9.7 yds

5. Charles Howell III
+9.3 yds

2. Ricky Barnes
+1.01

3. Jonathan Byrd
+0.99

4. Matt Every
+0.96

5. Robert Garrigus
+0.85

2. Andreas Harto
up 21%

3. Darren Fichardt
up 19%

4. Andy Sullivan
up 18%

5. Chris Wood
up 17.5%

2. Ryo Ishikawa
up 0.761

3. Graeme McDowell
up 0.750

4. Ricky Barnes
up 0.743

5. Lee Westwood
up 0.633

Why Rickie improved

“It has been a combination of being healthy all year, the Cobra Bio Cell Pro driver I had in play the best driver I’ve ever used and the work I did with Butch Harmon,” says Fowler.

Why Ryo improved

“I had a back injury and could only practise chipping and putting for 10 minutes at a time. This season I got over my injury and could practise for 2-3 hours at a time.”

Why Darren improved

“Darren has used a bunker technique called the Ripple Effect,” says Clarke’s swing consultant Pete Cowen. “It revolves around pressuring the sand correctly.”

Why Matt improved

“It’s mostly down to believing in myself and doing the work,” says Every. “I also switched putters to an Odyssey White Hot Pro #9, which felt really good and worked great.”

Improvement Analysis

“The standard gain was 2.5 yards last year,” says PGA Tour stats consultant and author of Every Shot Counts, Mark Broadie. “Rickie gaining 11 yards is a huge improvement against the field. I’d equate it to two-thirds of a shot a round.”

 

Improvement Analysis

“Ryo was second in strokes gained (putting) and 8th in strokes gained inside 100 yards excluding putting,” says Broadie. “Add these together, and he’s gained nearly five shots per tournament on the field from inside 100 yards.”

Improvement Analysis

“The smaller the category, the less impact the improvement has,” says Broadie. “While a 22% increase is impressive, the effect on Darren’s scores has been much smaller than you might expect. I’d equate it to around 0.2 strokes per round.”


Improvement Analysis

“Matt made an incredible gain on the greens this year,” says Broadie. “His improvement equates to nearly 3.5 strokes per event and that statistic helps to explain why he won his first PGA Tour title at Bay Hill in 2014.”

Most Improved Players